And so it begins – pandemic back to school prep

As of today, the local board of Education is going to start calling every parent of school-aged children to find out what their intention is.

There are a few options here in my city of Toronto:

Children in elementary school (K – grade 8) have the option to return to class full time (5 days a week), or opt out and home-school with online instruction.

Children in high school will have a hybrid system where they are to report to reduced class sizes every other day.

All students are required to wear masks or face coverings for the duration of their indoor stay at school, unless the child is in grade 3 or under where it is optional. It’s up to the parents to decide along with their young child how to navigate that.

I suspect the teachers will be in full PPE, and although I don’t envy them at all for having to wear all that gear, I especially feel for the younger children’s teachers, especially Kindergarten teachers.

It is going to be an extremely challenging time, I think…

For me, not much changes. I am usually ready by early September to get the family out of the house again for a few hours each day, but we’ve been shut in here since March and we’re used to it now. I miss my solitude sometimes, but we have adapted. I mean, it’s not like there’s much choice.

But I remain unconvinced that school will be anything other than a stressful experience no matter what the option people choose to embark on. School isn’t just about sitting at a desk receiving instruction, it’s about socializing at recess, having gym, eating lunch with friends outside of your classroom or grade, participating in sports or clubs…

Not this year. There won’t be art club or cross country practices, sports teams or excursions. I’m not sure how this is going to work long-term.

Simultaneously I am not convinced a vaccine will necessarily solve all the problems, either. Anything viral has the tendency to mutate. Isn’t this the main reason we still don’t have a vaccine for Influenza?

So. I’m sitting here waiting for the phone to ring. What will I tell the board when they call? That my younger kid may choose to go to school but opt out later?

It seems a futile decision to make now since I suspect as soon as the colder weather arrives, and scores of kids get sick with regular colds and flus, the covid numbers will increase and everything will be shut down again.

I don’t have any answers. All I can do is wait, and see.

Story of my life.

BTW apparently the Beagle bitch whom they (daughter and her dad) have paid a deposit toward for a puppy didn’t get pregnant at all. There was much disappointment from the girl child who was spearheading this whole puppy thing. She read books and watched training videos and she was sooo excited about dog ownership…especially going into fall and winter.

But then…a message came through that there is another litter, and there are two males available for adoption later this month.

help me ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

So there you have it. I am once again tethered to the house, probably forever until the day I die.

52 thoughts on “And so it begins – pandemic back to school prep

  1. These are very scary times. Iโ€™m more afraid of the kids getting the virus and bringing it home to their parents or grandparents. I think all of the teaching should be virtual at least until we have a better handle on the situation. Itโ€™s so much worse now than it was in March.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldnโ€™t do it. I almost volunteered to drive to Illinois and homeschool my three grandkids there for a semester. I am a retired teacher, after all. But then I remembered how much I value my sanity.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lol

        I heard locally here in Toronto some families with young children are hiring retired teachers to help them with the homeschooling. They for a bubble group (say a combination of 3 families) and they take turns so that adults can go to work etc.

        It’s kind of an interesting idea but is it financially supported by the government? It raises more questions…

        Anyway, we shall see what happens.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I could see that happening for wealthier families. My middle granddaughterโ€”a 9th graderโ€” is going to be babysitting a 7 year-old on the days theyโ€™re learning remotely. Sheโ€™ll act as a tutor as needed while doing her own work. Theyโ€™re going to see how it works in a trial basis.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the plan here is still to open schools as much as possible. We haven’t seen anything confirmed yet — and probably won’t until next week — but my guess is that the twins will be going back full time and the eldest for four days a week.

    I hope the schools do re-open. You mentioned the socialising aspect of school and this is really important. The twins especially were feeling the isolation during the lockdown — I would really like to avoid going through that again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you and feel similar. But my main issue is: 14 days of quarantine if someone in the classroom tests positive.

      I mean, 2 kids in school = double chance that we go through several quarantine periods over the next months…? Don’t want that.

      I read in the US the State of Georgia has 800 students and 42 staff in quarantine after 1st week. Now not all countries are experiencing the same challenges as America and are probably handling things better, but to me it’s still a reality to be aware of.

      Even just for selfish reasons. I don’t want to be locked up for 2 weeks again…as little as I do go out, even just for bike rides, dog walks, visits to mom, that would all halt.

      I can’t… I just…ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good point, and I have to admit that the prospect of having to quarantine is something I’m just not thinking about at this point.

        The risk is there but I think it’s going to be one of those things that we will have to deal with if or when it arises.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Both kids just told me they prefer at home learning.

      I saw a headline where 800 students in Georgia are in quarantine, along with 40+ staff.

      You know the quarantine thing is what would cramp everyone’s style the most…can’t even go out for walks (technically). I don’t think anyone would want to be subjected to back to back quarantines…

      We’ll just stay home since it’s an option and do pur thing. I guess.

      You are lucky. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand where you’re coming from, schooldays won’t be the same as before, as you say no gym or socialising but the phrase baby steps come to mind, my opinion is children have to be in school for their own mental health………………… a vaccine will come, I’m kinda an optimist… a vaccine will come ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Feel sorry for me Claudette I haven’t slept with a woman since March! I chat to ladies on the internet, all good clean adult fun and sexy laughs but as for meeting them in a motel?……… lol NO f****** chance.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you that school is likely just going to cause giant stress ulcers for everyone involved – kids, parents, teachers… Like you, I don’t know what the answers are. Alberta seems to be a giant clusterfuck right now. Teachers are quitting, the government seems to think they can solve everything by ordering kids masks from Old Navy. Who knows what’s going to happen…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw that too. It’s really scary. And authorities in Georgia don’t seem to care…
        At least here in Canada, in some parts anyway, provinces seem to care. BC seems to be planning pretty hard for preparations.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I fully expect shut downs to happen at some point prior to Xmas. It’s not ideal but flu season here when the weather gets cold is always a cause for concern. And that’s before covid…

      Anyway, one step at a time. That’s all we can do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we have flu shots based on predictions of which strain will be most active. It’s not really a “cure” as you can get a different strain making the shot ineffective. This is the problem with viruses that cause influenza (my partner studied molecular cell biology)…

        Let’s hope the vaccine for corona viruses is more efficient. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember a scene in Star Trek Next Generation where Dr. Crusher mentioned the common cold and flu were eradicated… ๐Ÿ™‚ What was the date for those scenes? I can’t remember. A couple of centuries ahead of us? Whatever. Blah. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I teach at a community college in New Mexico. We will be teaching in person and online and I am so looking forward to seeing my students ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck with the puppy! Puppies? I have three dogs and we adore them.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What do they recommend in New Mexico for PPE? Must be hard to teach behind a mask…

      There’s always a dog around here it seems. Between the dog walking and dog sitting, there was always something going on with furry four-legged friends. When our dog died when my youngest was 2 we had a hard time considering adding another dog into the crowded space of toddlers and preschoolers. Now the kids are older, and can help with the caring and walking, so it looks like we’re ready. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure I’ll post more about this when the time comes.


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